October 22, 1936
|Died||March 8, 2020 (aged 83)|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, writer, host|
Johnny Yune (October 22, 1936 – March 8, 2020) was a Korean-American actor, singer, and comedian.
He played the lead in the 1980s films They Call Me Bruce? and They Still Call Me Bruce. Yune's big break came at The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Yune stated that because actor Charlton Heston did not arrive on time, he was given over twenty minutes on the show to make a good impression. Carson liked Yune and had him on the show over 30 times. Yune also appeared in his own special on NBC.
Yune performed at the 1988 Summer Olympics at Seoul, along with Bob Hope and Brooke Shields. From 1989 to 1990, he hosted The Johnny Yune Show (자니윤쇼), the first Americanized talk show in Korea. The show was a great hit, but only after a year, Yune decided to leave KBS due to limited freedom of the media.
2 Personal life
5 External links
Johnny Yune was born 1936 in Eumseong County, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, South Korea (then under Japanese rule). His Korean first name is Jong-seung and got an Anglicized name 'John' from its phonetic similarity when he became a US citizen in 1978. First, he graduated from Sungdong High School in Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, came over from South Korea to Massachusetts, U.S. as a student of Ohio Wesleyan University on an ROK Navy scholarship in 1962, and played a Mongolian under the name of "Jon Yune" in the 1979 movie Meteor, also did work as a stand-up comedian in the 1980s. Johnny Yune appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 34 times in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the most appearances by a stand-up comedian, and as the first among anyone of Asian descent.
Johnny Yune practiced his stand-up routine in 1964 in places such as the Cafe Tel Aviv at 250 West 72nd Street, New York City. (Another successful stand-up comic who also practiced his routine at the Cafe Tel Aviv was Gabe Kaplan from Welcome Back Kotter.)
He was appointed the auditor for the Korea Tourism Organization in 2014 by the Park Geun-hye administration. His appointment was met with controversy, as his critics have called into question his lack of business experience and close ties to the then president.
Yune passed away in Southern California on March 8, 2020 at the age of 84.
He married a Korean-American named Julia Yune in 1999.
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